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The Rough Guide to New Zealand - 4th Edition Paperback – 30 Sep 2004
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About the Author
The Rough Guide to New Zealand is written by an established team of experts Laura Harper, Tony Mudd and Paul Whitfield. Paul Whitfield lives in Auckland and has been writing for Rogh guides since the mid-nineties. Tony Mudd and Laura Harper live in Suffolk and spend as much of their time as possible talking and writing about New Zealand, for both the British and New Zealand media.
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I take on board what the other reviewer said about the size of the manual but the author is put in an extremely diffkcult position when balancing a full authorititative guide against space and portability. I think they have got it about right as it is packed full of all the essential including lots of maps as well as a good background info on everywhere you visit.
Good value and thoroughly recommended...
The only complaint is how heavy it is when lugged around in your hand luggage for several weeks!
Since I had earlier annotated my now out-of-date 3rd edition, I decided to transcribe my notes into the pristine new copy which arrived with Amazon's customary speed and efficiency. My suspicions were, therefore, raised when I soon noticed that the 7th edition is rather shorter (837 pages compared to 1038). The type font is, however, smaller in the 7th edition and I assumed that this accounted for the thinner volume.
Wrong. Gone is some of the really helpful descriptive stuff concerning walks and other activities. Meanwhile critical assessments that I have always considered set Rough Guide well ahead of their rivals (I have never really been a fan of Lonely Planet) have now been muted. Taking just one example, all reference to the poor quality and high price of accommodation and eateries in Mount Cook village has been removed in the 7th edition.
Equally, the description of some shops, galleries and craft establishments' seemingly un-missable attractions rekindled memories of old fashioned package holiday companys' adverts for their often iffy value excursions. Although that may, in part, simply be a balance issue caused by the removal of so much of the good stuff, the overall impression is one of a less useful and, worse, less objective guide.
Rough Guides have often been my starting point for travel planning but this has been a troubling experience. Although I consider that this marks a retrograde step, perhaps it is the result of a deliberate decision on the part of the publisher to make the product more appealing to a wider audience. Hopefully that is not the case and other country guides will be spared the same fate. If not, I for one will be looking more carefully at some of the competition.
It does tend towards the pack-packer, hosteler rather that more middle-of the- road traveller. Well worth getting.
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